Various sources are reporting that Joe Mauer has been named MVP of the American League, receiving 27 of 28 possible first place votes. The other first-place vote went to Miguel Cabrera of Detroit. Mark Teixera finished second, with teammate Derek Jeter third; Cabrera finished fourth. Really, this award is no surprise. Mauer led the AL in average, OBP and SLG. No one since George Brett in 1980 has done that, and Mauer did it playing elite defense at the most premium defensive position. Some arguments were made that the MVP should not go to someone who missed the first month of the season, but it’s worth noting that Mauer still played in an exceptional number of games for a catcher, as he played in 138 of his 141 games while not on the disabled list (granted, some of those at DH). In short, Mauer was magnificent. He put on an offensive performance for the ages, was the best player in baseball (at least this side of Albert Pujols), and was an iron man even considering the time he missed in April. Thankfully, the Twins managed to sneak into the playoffs, which aptly illustrated how valuable Mauer is; without him, the Twins would not have even been sniffing the playoffs. That value would be the same on the Yankees or the Royals, but it was plainly apparent given the Twins’ fortunes this year. Congratulations, Joe Mauer. We were all pulling for you.